THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2315

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO JURY DUTY.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature recognizes that breastfeeding benefits both mothers and children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports evidence that breastfeeding protects against a variety of diseases and conditions in the infant, including bacteremia, diarrhea, respiratory and urinary tract infections, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia, and childhood obesity. There are also maternal health benefits to breastfeeding, such as decreased postpartum bleeding and more rapid uterine involution, decreased menstrual blood loss, and decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers. The societal benefits of breastfeeding include lower health insurance costs and higher worker productivity.

The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about six months, with continuation of breastfeeding for one year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant: the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine concur with this recommendation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2010 Breastfeeding Report Card, three out of four mothers in the United States start out breastfeeding, but at the end of six months, breastfeeding rates fall to forty-three per cent, with only thirteen per cent of babies exclusively breastfed. Furthermore, in Hawaii, only one in five children receives the absolute minimum of six months exclusive breastfeeding as recommended by the AAP.

The legislature finds that jury duty places a hardship on mothers who breastfeed their children, with mother-child separation presenting a serious challenge to continue breastfeeding. It costs nothing to exempt a breastfeeding woman from jury duty, as the exemption allows the woman to serve on jury duty at a later time. The exemption can make a big difference in preserving the breastfeeding relationship.

A woman should not have to worry about how she is going to feed her baby while required to sit in a courtroom, or while sequestered. Additionally, not every woman has the necessary pump and supplies to pump milk for her baby. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seventeen states exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty or allow jury service to be postponed.

The purpose of this Act is to meet the health needs of Hawaii's mothers and babies by exempting mothers who breastfeed or express breast milk from jury duty; provided that this exemption shall end when a mother is no longer breastfeeding or expressing breast milk.

SECTION 2. Section 612-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"612-6 Exempt when. A person may claim exemption from service as a juror if the person is:

(1) An elected official while the legislature is in session, or a judge of the United States, State, or county;

(2) An actively practicing physician or dentist;

(3) A member of the armed forces or militia when on active service and deployed out-of-state;

(4) An active member of a police or fire department;

(5) A person who has served as a juror, either in a court of this State or the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, within one year preceding the time of filling out the juror qualification form;

(6) An active member of an emergency medical services agency;

(7) A person living more than seventy miles from the court for which jury service is required; [or]

(8) A person eighty years of age or older[.]; or

(9) A mother who is breastfeeding a child or expressing breast milk; provided that this exemption shall end when a mother is no longer breastfeeding or expressing breast milk.

For purposes of this section, "emergency medical services agency" means any government agency, private agency, or company that provides ambulance services, emergency medical services, or disaster medical services."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Breastfeeding; Jury Duty; Exemption

 

Description:

Exempts mothers who breastfeed or express breast milk from jury duty; provided that this exemption shall end when a mother is no longer breastfeeding or expressing breast milk.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.